Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I'm here in Madison Square Garden and I just heard the head of the South Carolina delegation announce their votes and add that South Carolina is the "most patriotic state" in the country. But of course South Carolina was also the seedbed and the leader of the only organized treason in the country's history. But I guess I'm just picky.

From the Times on Hollinger ...

" Hollinger wasn't a company where isolated improper and abusive acts took place," said the report, largely written by Richard C. Breeden, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rather, it said, Hollinger was "an entity in which ethical corruption was a defining characteristic."


The report was particularly critical of the audit committee of the board, which it said had not performed its duties to monitor what was going on. But the report saved its harshest criticism for Richard Perle, the former Reagan administration official and current member of a Pentagon advisory board. It said it did not consider Mr. Perle to have been an independent director and called on him to return $5.4 million in pay he received after "putting his own interests above those of Hollinger's shareholders."

And in <$NoAd$>the Globe on Franklin ...

Richard Perle, a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and current adviser to the Pentagon, said the investigations are baseless and politically motivated.

"It's pretty nasty, and unfortunately the administration doesn't seem to have it under control," said Perle, calling on the administration to defend Feith more vigorously.

And from a few weeks ago in the LA Times on the Chalabi arrest warrant ...

Richard N. Perle, a former top advisor to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and a leader of the so-called neoconservatives who embraced Chalabi and the war, said in an interview that he believed the warrants were part of an effort against Chalabi undertaken by the Iraqi government with the support of the U.S. government.

"I'm sure it's been encouraged by the U.S.," Perle said in an interview from Europe.

He said CIA and State Department officials have long opposed Chalabi and have convinced others in the government to move against him. Now officials in the White House oppose Chalabi as well, Perle said.

"It was those reports that led to a decision to destroy him," Perle said, adding that he believed there was no basis to the reports that Chalabi passed classified information to Iran.

And from The New York Sun in May on the investigation into Chalabi's passing US intelligence to Iran ...

A scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Richard Perle, said, "I don't believe he has ever been given top U.S. classified information, let alone anything of a highly classified nature....I believe the whole operation is politically motivated. The accusations, the embellishment of the accusations, I believe this is fundamentally malicious and politically motivated by people who became fearful that Ahmad Chalabi might emerge as a major figure in Iraq."

Sic Transit ...

You'll remember a couple days ago we noted House Speaker Denny Hastert suggesting that George Soros may get his money from drug cartels or other such groups.

I've talked to reporters who've asked Hastert this around the convention hall. And he's been aggressively restating the 'charge.' I'm told he even shoved his finger in the chest of one of them when repeating it.

Now Soros has written this letter to Hastert, asking him to put up or shut up, or, more specifically "either substantiate these claims -- which you canont do because they are false -- or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation."

Whatever you think of Soros, this is the sort of slur that only comes from a real pig. And to think that the author of it is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and out in the light of day.

April Bush mocks August Bush ...

"One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course, you can."

George W. Bush
White House Press Conference
April 13th, 2004

Okay, we've got our new 'terror <$NoAd$>war' strategic concept of the day from President Bush.

We can't win the war on terror actually means we can win but our victory won't be memorialized in a peace treaty ....

I should have made my point more clear about what I meant. What I meant was that this is not a conventional war. It is a different kind of war. We're fighting people who have got a dark ideology who use terrorists, terrorism, as a tool. They're trying to shake our conscience. They're trying to shake our will, and so in the short run the strategy has got to be to find them where they lurk. I tell people all the time, "We will find them on the offense. We will bring them to justice on foreign lands so we don't have to face them here at home," and that's because you cannot negotiate with these people. And in a conventional war there would be a peace treaty or there would be a moment where somebody would sit on the side and say we quit. That's not the kind of war we're in, and that's what I was saying. The kind of war we're in requires, you know, steadfast resolve, and I will continue to be resolved to bring them to justice, but as well as to spread liberty ... There's no doubt in my mind, so long as this country stays resolved and strong and determined, and by winning, I just would remind your listeners that Pakistan is now an ally in the war on terror.

The president deserves every whack he gets for changing his position twice in three days on the issue he has made the centerpiece of his campaign. But folks should also start using his bobbling to make the point that the issue is less whether the president thinks the 'terror war' is winnable than the fact that he doesn't even have any clear idea of how to fight it.

(A reader makes a good point: Reading the above, you can see why President Bush doesn't 'do nuance.' It ain't his strong suit.)

It's not quite 'I sing of arms and the man.' But it'll do.

Don't miss Dana Milbank's piece in the Post today -- "This is a story about Swift boats and FastShip."

FastShip is the lobbying client of one of Kerry's new accusers, which just bagged a $40 million contract from the federal government.

"We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war (i.e., the war on terror) we did not start yet one that we will win."

-- George W. Bush, August 31st, 2004

"I don’t think you can win it (i.e., the war on terror). But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world."

-- George W. Bush, August 28th, 2004

Come to think of it, this may be an ingenious way to pump up viewership for the president's speech on Thursday night. Tune in to find out his final answer: can we win or can't we? We'll be on the edge of our seats.

We're told that later today the president will be commenting on whether the war between Oceania and East Asia is winnable.

MSNBC question of the day: Did Giuliani's speech make you love George W. Bush or did you love him already? It's pretty much that bad. Check it out right here.

Gives new meaning to the phrase 'anti-choice.'

Late Update: MSNBC has now changed the question to: Did Rudy Giuliani's speech move you to support the Bush-Cheney ticket? Yes, No.

Originally, it was: Did Rudy Giuliani's speech reassure you or move you to support the Bush-Cheney ticket? Reassure, Move you to support.